Mentalist: As SI predicted in June, Mark James (below) was named Europe's 1999 Ryder Cup captain last week. The 44-year-old James, who was fined for skipping meetings and refusing to wear the team uniform at the '79 Ryder Cup, swore in those days that he would never head the team. "I said you would have to be mental to want the job," he said last week, "but that's what 20 years on the tour will do to you."
Home Team: Rosie Jones had all the symptoms: insomnia, loss of appetite, a tight stomach. She stood 11th in Solheim Cup qualifying points—one spot shy of automatic selection—after missing the cut at last week's State Farm Rail Classic in Springfield, Ill. Jones was suffering from pre-Solheim syndrome, an epidemic that hit Springfield as Judy Rankin pondered her two captain's selections for the U.S. team. "It was an awful week, the worst of my life," said the 38-year-old veteran, who hoisted a beer after Rankin took the conservative route and made Jones and No. 12 Sherri Steinhauer her captain's picks. They'll join Donna Andrews, Brandie Burton, Tammie Green, Pat Hurst, Juli Inkster, Chris Johnson, Betsy King, Meg Mallon, Dottie Pepper and Kelly Robbins against Europe on Sept. 18-20 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Bad Swing Thought: President Clinton planned a Sept. 5 round of golf in Ballybunion, Ireland, where a hair salon called Monica's displayed its name in large letters. In honor of his visit the place has temporarily become a gift store named The President's Shop.
Daly Affirmation: "I asked John Daly point-blank about the Dunhill Cup," Mark O'Meara says of the Oct. 8-11 team event at St. Andrews in which Daly, O'Meara and Tiger Woods are to represent the U.S. "I said, 'John, Tiger and I want to know if you're going to play. If you do, we need you to give 110 percent. I can't have you giving up on me.' He told me he feels like he owns that course."
Hero Time: How did Joe Inman know he was doing well at last week's BankBoston Senior Classic, where he tied for third behind winner Hale Irwin? On Friday, Inman's daughter Katherine, 11, hugged him and said, "Daddy, you're beating Hale Irwin!"
Sizzling Reentry: Last month Se Ri Pak withdrew from the Rail Classic. She reconsidered when Nancy Lopez told her the Rail was the last event of the Lincoln Mercury Bonus Series. By finishing 10th behind winner Pearl Sinn, Pak won the Series and a $100,000 bonus. Sinn, who had earned $67,787 in the past three seasons after a 1994 auto accident, took home $105,000. "I said I'd retire if I ever won," said Sinn. "Now that it has happened, I think I'll have a change of heart."